Maine's shrimp industry hit hard

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March 14, 2013, 8:29 pm
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(NECN: Marnie MacLean) - If you're a fan of the small, sweet shrimp that are caught off the coast of New England each winter, there's bad news.

Fishermen are having a hard time finding shrimp and the catch has been so poor many are hanging up their nets a full month before the
season ends.

Scientists had warned that warmer water temperatures would likely impact the population and their predictions appear to be correct. The catch limit this season is 1.4 million pounds, a huge reduction from last year, but fishermen are having a hard time even reaching that number.   

One long time fisherman in Port Clyde, Maine says the warmer water likely plays a part, but he also says fishermen bear some responsibility for big catches a few years ago that took a lot of shrimp, and their eggs, out of the ocean.   

"If we left those trillion eggs back in the fishery, we would have had a fishery this year," Randy Cushman says.

The low catch has a ripple effect in town. Last year, Port Clyde Fresh Catch had nine employees processing shrimp. This year, there's just two and they are picking crab. The only shrimp they have right now is in the freezer.

The low inventory has also increased prices for consumers. A pound of shrimp is over $11, a big increase from last year.

Tags: maine, Marnie MacLean, climate change, science, Port Clyde, shrimp industry
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